SYMPOSIUM 22: Indigenous portraits - gamon or real? the art of mixing insider and outsider research roles.

Year: 1998

Author: McFadden, Mark, Simpson, Lee, Munns, Geoff, Spillman, David

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The Symposium considers philosophical and methodological common ground and tensions when conducting research within Indigenous Australian communities. The intent is to draw on examples of research in progress in different Indigenous Australian contexts in order to discuss the position, values and roles of both Indigenous insiders and external insiders (Banks, 1998) in the research process. In particular, the Symposium will address the epistemic responsibility of researchers to the studied community: the challenge to reconceptualise objectivity, subjectivity and representation (Lawrence-Lightfoot and Davis, 1997) so Indigenous people are integral to all aspects of research, including goal setting and choice of methods as well as interpretation, application and dissemination of research outcomes. Contributors to the Symposium are research teams of Indigenous Australian and non-Indigenous Australian researchers.


The Symposium will involve a series of presentations of research projects currently being undertaken by researchers at different levels of their academic careers. Successive presentations will build on the Symposium framework of bringing forward for discussion a number of interrelated methodological issues. It is envisaged that the Symposium will allow for contribution and interaction within each presentation and in the final discussion session. As a result of the Symposium, a summary statement will be made available to all participants.